Know A Little About A Lot

Shaw/Watha T. Daniel LibraryRead Feed

Know A Little About A Lot

Whether it's through a book, podcast, or online class, I love to learn new things! I especially enjoy when something surprises me or makes me think about a certain topic or subject a little differently than I had before. The list below features books that present all kinds of information to readers in unique and exciting ways. Prepare for trivia, dazzle people with your seemingly endless knowledge, or just learn something new for the fun of it!

100 Essential Things You Didn't Know You Didn't Know About Math and the Arts by John D. Barrow
Even if you're not big on the subject of mathematics (and I'll admit -- I'm no pro), this book is undeniably fascinating. John D. Barrow reveals connections between math and the arts that will catch you by surprise. These short, fact-filled essays make for a read that is both quick and satisfying. Discover the mathematics behind autotuning, doodling, procrastination, and more!

Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe
Words cannot quite describe how awesome this book is. Using drawings and ONLY the 1,000 most common words, Randall Munroe explains an array of difficult topics, such as animal cells ("tiny bags of water you're made of"), tectonic plates ("big flat rocks we live on"), and the solar system ("worlds around the Sun"). This book is entertaining and enlightening, and it will truly challenge you to think in a new way. If you like this one, you may also enjoy Munroe's What If? Serious Scientific Questions to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.

All Facts Considered: The Essential Library of Inessential Knowledge by Kee Malesky
NPR librarian Kee Malesky has created the ultimate book for trivia lovers. Broken up into three sections on history, science, and the arts, All Facts Considered covers a large amount of information in a short amount of space. From the U.S. Postal Service, to minerals, to rock 'n' roll, you're sure to learn something new when you read this book -- and you never know when a random bit of information might come in handy!

The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science by Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe, with a foreword by David Macaulay
Why is each snowflake unique? How are stars born, and how do they die? Do squirrels remember where they bury their nuts? In a celebration of curiosity and wonder, this collection presents a series of scientific questions that cannot fully be answered, even by experts. Art meets science in this beautiful, thought-provoking book, as each question's response is accompanied by an illustration inspired by the topic at hand. For a similar take on lesser-known history, check out The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History.

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson
How often do you stop to think about the story behind the modern-day technologies that make such a huge impact on our daily lives? In this informative, enthralling book, Steven Johnson discusses six innovations -- lenses, refrigeration, recorded sound, water purification, clocks, and artificial light -- from many different angles and perspectives. How We Got to Now will give you a whole new appreciation for the world around you. To watch the companion PBS series, check out the DVD or visit Access Videos on Demand through the library's Downloadable Media page.